Figuring out this week’s “Secularists of the Week” was a cakewalk for FFRF Action Fund, given that U.S. Reps. Jared Huffman and Jamie Raskin co-sponsored the congressional resolution renaming today the National Day of Reason (as opposed to prayer).
In the resolution, the co-chairs of the Congressional Freethought Caucus note that “the application of reason has been the essential precondition for humanity’s extraordinary scientific, medical, technological, and social progress since before the founding of our country.” Instead of encouraging all citizens to gather together to pray, as the (unconstitutional) congressional statute requires on the first Thursday of May, they urge citizens and others to “focus on the central importance of reason, critical thought, the scientific method and free inquiry to resolving social problems and promoting the welfare of humankind.”
This is music to FFRF Action Fund’s ears. The new lobbying group working for state/church separation and freethought extends its gratitude to the feisty pair.
The application of reason apparently isn’t uppermost for this week’s “Theocrat of the Week.” That appellation goes to Kansas state Sen. Mark Steffen, a Christian nationalist who recently admitted to a constituent that his idea of respecting diversity would be to “try and convert you.”
At a lobbying event last month put on by a nonprofit that empowers underrepresented populations, a woman noted to Steffen that he legislates “from a more biblical background,” identified herself as a Muslim and asked him, “So what would you say to those people who are kind of against a more biblical approach to certain laws? Like how would you justify that?”
Steffen laughingly replied, “Well, I would be happy to try to convert you.”
As Friendly Atheist Hemant Mehta documents, Steffen previously branded Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, who is Catholic, an ‘atheist” for including the state’s churches in the pandemic shutdown. In his 2020 Ballotpedia Candidate Connection survey, Steffen said one of his key messages is “God! We are a Christian nation, state and counties. Our rule of law is built on Christian values. Our successes are a result of these realities.”
Such religious extremism by elected officials is unbecoming in our nation, says Annie Laurie Gaylor, president of FFRF Action Fund. “We need more legislators who admire reason and fewer who use their authority to inflict their religious ideology on others.”
FFRF Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) organization that develops and advocates for legislation, regulations and government programs to preserve the constitutional principle of separation between state and church. It also advocates for the rights and views of nonbelievers, endorses candidates for political office, and publicizes the views of elected officials concerning religious liberty issues.